The cool thing about writing a blog is that you are the owner of a platform perfect for local businesses to reach local readers. Which means I get to review local gear company schwag!
When Khumbu first opened, I did a review; just a quick one of my general impression of the store, employees, etc. You can check out that Fresh Air Fort Collins post here. But since this is their first store, how good or bad their product are is not generally known. But fear not, you’re about to be enlightened.
Ulike most gear reviews, I’m not going to go through a complicated and arbitrary system of letters and numbers to tell you what I think. I’m just going to tell you what I expected when I got the gear I’m reviewing and whether or not it met my expectations. I read back through before I published this morning (I do I actually proofread…sometimes) and realize that most of this review revolves around how comfortable or uncomfortable I was with regard to sweat and chaffing over the last two weekends. Which is gross and a little graphic…but also why you bother buying hiking clothes anyway……so, here’s the dirty:
First item on the list, the women’s Horsetooth long sleeve microfiber tech shirt.
As an under shirt, I expect it to be warm, dry, and light. I expected this shirt to fit well (no itching or weird pulling), and to be durable enough to be worn on hikes and runs and survive the wash a million times. And I’d like it to look good, obviously.
I took this shirt on two trips over the last week. The first, hiking up at Cameron pass, and then during one of my sunrise runs in the Wild West relay.
Let me cut to the chase, it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite shirts. So light you can hardly tell you have it on and yet, somehow, snuggly. It packs down to almost nothing, making it, unlike the just-in-case-might-as-well extra pairs of socks, one thing I had no problem making room for in my small, stuffed backpack. I actually didn’t expect it to be very warm simply because of how light it is. It’s surprisingly warm and soft.
Part of why it’s warm is that it wicks really well, dries almost instantaneously. On my first night run in my Khumbu shirt, I didn’t get soaking and gross like I do in most running shirts and didn’t end up having the immediate urge to get it off me the second I stopped running. On my second night run, however, I switched it out for a really basic, cheap tech shirt and got a little too hot. And then sweaty. Followed by cold. Hate that.
I also expect my clothes to look good on me. I really liked that the collar is high enough to keep you warm and that the v-neck with grey accents makes it more comfortable and a lot more attractive than your basic crew-neck.
Shirts that don’t fit well are maddening. Shirts that aren’t cut right or have bad seams and leave you with a big red chaff area at the end of the day are pretty high on my list of stuff that annoys me enough that I will yell at the next service industry employee I encounter. And the nature of tech shirt synthetic material makes it easy to end up with ones that pull in the wrong places or just don’t sit right on the shoulders- or avoid those problems altogether by being baggy.
This shirt? Fits perfectly. Sits on the shoulders well, stretches with your movement, sleeves are the right length.
It’s soft and the cut is comfortable and flattering. Considering how much other companies charge for a well-made tech shirt, the $35 you’ll spend on this Khumbu tech makes it my new go-to under-layer.
Second item! Women’s Sagarmatha hiking pants.
From pants like these, I expect them to be the right thickness so they are comfortable in warm or cold and keep the wind off me. I want a full range of motion in my legs and for no part of them to leave me with raw skin at any contact point. I also really don’t want to sound like a bag of chips is walking through the forest. And I’m going to cross my fingers and hope they don’t give me mom butt.
While the fabric is wind proofing, it’s also soft enough to not make a lot of crinkly noise that a lot of windproof pants do. They never got static-y. I wore them for some time with tights and without; both ways were comfortable and no wind. Yay versatility.
I walked through plenty of brush last weekend, and no snags or pills. Got a little rain, and wasn’t feeling wet. Noticing a trend? It’s like they know being wet in the cold is bad or something….
My assessment is bias on the simple fact that hiking pants are one of the hardest things for me to spend money on. I really like the way I look in my skinny jeans and hiking pants remind me of what I wore when Nirvana was the coolest thing on planet earth. I hate spending money on things that make me look…baggy. These aren’t really baggy, actually, and don’t look bad. Though they’re still hiking pants.
A solid pair of hiking pants. You won’t be given any reason to notice that they’re even there on your hike. And I like them in grey.